Katherine Heigl has long had a reputation as an insufferable Hollywood diva whose ego far outpaces her star power — or her talent. That may or may not be a bad rap, but this much is true: Katherine Heigl thinks a single tweet with her picture is worth $6 million. And she’s suing a New York drugstore chain for that amount.
In the Heigl lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court, the former Grey’s Anatomy regular asserts that the Duane Reade drugstore chain used a paparazzi photo of her in a Twitter posting on March 18 without her permission. Because she is a “highly successful” Hollywood actress in “high demand” for film and TV projects, the legal filings say, the use of her image for “commercial advertising and purposes of trade” is worth $6 million.
Now Heigl wants Duane Reade to pay up.
That $6 million figure is a full one-third of the estimated Katherine Heigl net worth of $18 million. But Heigl says that if she wins the money from Duane Reade, she won’t keep it for herself. Instead, she plans to donate the winnings to the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, her charity that seeks homes for dogs that might otherwise be euthanized.
A noble cause, to be sure. But can a single tweet of Katherine Heigl really be worth $6 million? Apparently Duane Reade doesn’t think so, as the popular Big Apple pharmacy hasn’t even bothered to remove the tweet from its Twitter feed, at least not as of early Thursday morning.
— Duane Reade (@DuaneReade) March 18, 2014
The candid shot shows the 35-year-old Knocked Up star exiting a Duane Reade drugstore in New York City carrying two apparently full shopping bags, with text that according to the lawsuit is meant to “imply falsely that Plaintiff endorses Defendant.”
The lawsuit claims that Katherine Heigl contacted Duane Reade to register her “strenuous objection” to the tweet, but her pleas went unheeded by the drugstore chain. So she was left no choice but to sue for $6 million.
The tweet links to a story on the gossip site Just Jared where the photo first appeared along with mention of the fact that Katherine Heigl paid a shopping visit to a Duane Reade store on March 16.
Because she is “is highly selective and well compensated” when it comes to endorsements, the single tweet would be worth $6 million to Katherine Heigl if she were actually paid for it, her lawsuit claims.